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  1. #1
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    Default Hearth Tax Records

    Late 17th century hearth tax records are a useful census substitute. I am seeking advice on the interpretation of the terms "senior" and "junior" used in the lists of names.

    In particular,the 1662 return for the Warwickshire village in question lists Jonn Blackford Sr. and John Blackford Jr. In today's usage, they would be taken as father and son. Should I assume that the understanding was the same back then? An alternative interpretation is that these were merely older and younger individuals having the same name. I think the latter less likely, as I have seen "John the elder" and "John the younger" in analogous situations in other contexts.

    It seems a trivial question but has important implications for my research.

  2. #2
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    Default

    Without further evidence, you cannot assume the men are father and son, only that one is older than the other. I had a case where there were three men of the same name, one was the elder, the second was the younger, and the third was identified by his occupation. When the elder died, the younger became the elder and the occupation was changed to the younger. There was likely a cousin relationship involved. So carry on searching to see what more you can learn about them. Consider wills made by others of the parish in case your men were mentioned as witnesses or executors, even if they did not leave wills of their own. At that period, any wills are likely to be PCC and so online at the National Archives which you can access remotely. pwholt

  3. #3
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    Thank-you for the advice. I have already collected a fair amount of information about the Blackford family in Oxhill. There were two and possible three adult John Blackfords in the village when the tax was levied, indicating three possible relationships between the two in the 1662 tax roll: either father and son, first cousins once removed, or first cousins. There is circumstantial evidence in supporting each of these alternatives. Unfortunately only one of the wills pertaining to the family was proved in the PCC, and that one I have. Several others were proved in the Consistory Court of Worcester, including that of John jr. from the tax roll. I have yet to determine whether it was preserved and accessible at The Hive.

    Thanks again.

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